Fort Atkinson wins at Milton
MILTON Fort Atkinson High’s football team clearly didn’t catch Milton at its best here Friday evening.
But that didn’t stop the Blackhawks from enjoying a hard-fought victory on the Red Hawks’ home turf.
Fort Atkinson (2-1, 1-1) took advantage of five Milton turnovers and scored all 17 of its points in the second quarter en route to a 17-7 victory in Badger South Conference action.
Blackhawks running back Tyler Coutier rolled up 89 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown, while quarterback Michael Rossing added a 42-yard touchdown pass to lead Fort Atkinson to victory.
“Milton is one of the special programs in the state and we were able to get that win tonight,” Fort Atkinson coach Steve Mahoney said. “It was a very hard-fought, old-fashioned football game tonight.”
The mood wasn’t as festive on the other side of the field with the Red Hawks still looking for their first conference win of the season.
“The little things made a difference in a game like this tonight,” Milton coach Jeff Bachinski said. “Two great teams were going at it and both defenses were up for the challenge, but we just can’t turn the ball over in our territory.”
It’s hard to argue with Bachinski’s logic after the Red Hawks took their second drive down to the Blackhawks’ 12 before a costly fum ble gave Fort the ball late in the first quarter.
Then, following a Milton missed field goal on the Red Hawks’ next possession, Fort Atkinson put together a 14-play, 5-minute scoring drive capped by Courtier’s 1-yard touchdown that put Fort up 7-0 early in the second quarter.
The Red Hawks immediately responded on the ensuing possession with an Evan Phillips 76-yard touchdown pass to Devon Hartman to tie it at 7-7.
But Rossing quickly answered again with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Ward through the deep middle of the Milton defense. That made it 14-7 in the second.
Avery Kan increased the lead to 17-7 with a 33-yard field goal late in the second quarter.
That was all the scoring Fort Atkinson needed as Milton’s turnover woes continued into the second half with a fumble and two interceptions.
“Our defense was bend-but-don’t break, but they forced turnovers and flew around and hit and that was the difference in the game tonight,” Mahoney said. “Tonight’s game was about Fort Atkinson’s defense doing what they needed to do.”
The Blackhawks’ impressive performance proved to be painful reminder of how tough it will be for the Red Hawks the rest of way.
“We played a tough football team,” Bachinski said. “And anybody that doesn’t know the Badger Conference is tough this year and there isn’t a weak team in it, so you better be ready to play each week.”
FORT ATKINSON 17, MILTON 7
Fort Atkinson 0 17 0 0—17
Milton 0 7 0 0—7
Scoring summary: F—Tyler Courtier, 1 run (Avery Kan kick). M—Devon Hartman, 76 pass from Evan Phillips. F—Seth Ward, 42 pass from Michael Rossing (Kan kick). F—Kan, 33 FG.
Statistics: First downs–F 19, M 9. Yards rushing—F 41-201, 27-86. Passing yards—F 170, M 172. Passes—F 24-15-0, M 24-14-2. Fumbles— F 3-1, M 3-1. Penalties—F 7-52, M 1-10.